The Big Fight
Today's topic was "Should the government censor the internet?"
On the panel were:
1. Jayanti Natrajan (congress Spokeswoman),
2. Sidharth Luthra (a supreme court advocate specializing in cyber law; he fought the Bazee-MMS case)
3. Paranjay Guha Thukrata, Director School of Convergence
Then joining via satellite (there was a large LCD TV where we could see
4. Principal, Modern School, Barakhamba Road
5. Mr Deepak Maheswari, Director, ISPAI (Internet Service Providers'
Association of India)
First Vikram Chandra asked the panelists their views on the blog
blockage and later the topic shifted to general internet censorship.
Jayanti Natrajan made some outragous comments like:
"Bloggers should exercise Self-Control" and "The government only meant
to block out 17 harmful site, not tons of regular sites".
Toward the end, Mrs. Natrajan created a hulaaboo about having to go
quickly as her flight was in 1.5 hours and she still hadn't done her
"homework" (her terminology). As a result, the audience was only given
10 minutes to put forward their question and I only got one chance to
ask something, so I asked what I thought important then,
(I quoted her comments mentioned above) "Maam, you mentioned that
bloggers should exercise self-control and that the government only
meant to block out harmful sites; yet the only four blogspot sites on
the list were: princesskimberly, a teenager's defunt diary from 2004,
not harmful and non political; commonfolkcommonsense.blogspot.com a
japanese site; and two anti-leftist (exposingtheleft and pajamaeditors)
American sites. How are these blogging sites a threat to Indian
National Security? Why were they banned?"
Mrs Natrajan answers, "(nervous laugh) The internet is a new medium of communication and as with every new medium, there may be mistakes, but I was saying that we
need to sensor the internet from harmful things against national
security or child pornography...." and blah blah blah. (note: this has not been quoted verbmatim, instead, this is as close to her answer as I can remember)